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WSET Diploma Unit 5 – Champagne

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Champagne, generally
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Cool climate and chalky soils – delicate flavors while retaining high acidity Advantage – higher prices Disadvantage – others choose cheaper options Planning, innovation and strategic marketing essential for Champenois to build consumer demand for wines in both mature and emerging markets 13% of global sparkling wine production Mostly on south, east and southeast facing slopes
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Champagne Location and size
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Northern France, 150KM east of Paris 33,705ha
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Champagne climate Rain
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Cool continental – considerable vintage variation Frequent but moderate rains, 700mm per year, avg temp 11*C 1,680 sunshine hours
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Champagne climate hazards Rainfall Hail Frosts Freeze
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June rainfall: interferes with flowering and fruit set, causes millerandage and coulure Hail: destroy damage and crops, late July 2013 300ha destroyed, 3000ha suffered damage Frost: spring and autumn, especially spring in Valle de Le Marne Winter freeze kill outright
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Champagne soil Type Nutrients Lime
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Chalk and limestone Also marl and sand Limestone subsoil with good water retention in the summer Fertilizer necessary as soil low in nutrients High active lime content, alkaline pH = high acid grapes
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Champagne classification Aire delimitee v production
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Aire delimitee: wide ranging area where wines can be made and aged Aire production: within the delimitee which alone can be planted to champ grapes
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Champagne Aire Production
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Planted to capacity, looking to expand Land excluded from 1927/35 app and laws being reconsidered Review in 2011/2015
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Champagne crus Where/name
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Echelles des Crus classifies whole villages, originally for fixed price scheme. EU swept that away leaving the class, but market prices Grand Cru – 17 villages Premier Cru – 44 villages
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Echelle des crus
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In 1911, quality-rated on a village-by-village basis (grand cru, premiers cru, village) – not by vineyard Slowly, teeth were taken away Abolished in 2007, but grand cru and premier cru status remains 17 GC (13%) 42 PC (18%)
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Champagne grapes
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Chardonnay Pinot Noir Pinot Meunier Arbanne Petit Meslier Pinot Blanc Pinot Gris — last 4 represent only 0.3% of plantings
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Champagne Pinot noir % Risk Adds Best where
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38% of plantings Buds early, prone to frost Structure and body with ripe berry flavor Autolytic biscuit with age Best on cool limestone in Montagne de Reims Dominant in CĂ´te de bars Contributes little acidity, moderate alcohol
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Champagne PM or Meunièr % Risks Adds Best where
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32% Hardier than PN, buds later, less frost risk, ripens earlier (good for frost-prone valley floors) Roundness and supple fruit flavors, richness (earthiness, roundness) Ages more rapidly than PN or Chard Damp, clay based soils of Valle Marne Contributes moderate acid and little alcohol
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Champagne Chardonnay % Risks Adds Where
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30% Buds and ripens early, millerandage coulure (susceptible to spring frosts) Delicate citrus with biscuit and bread from aging (long-lived) Contributes acidity and alcohol Best on chalk soils in Cotes des Blancs also Cote de Sezanne
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Traditional champagne
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Gouais – white berried – vins de la montagne Fromenteau – gray/pink berried – vins de riviere
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Important Sub-Regions
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Montagne de Reims Cote des Blancs Vallee de la Marne Cote de Sezanne Cote des Bar
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Montagne de Reims Number of grand cru Known for what Vineyard location
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9 Grand Cru 40% PN, 36% PM, 24% Chard (known for PN) Northern: fuller body, structured Southern: more finesse, depth, power, extract limestone is deeper underground
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CĂ´te des Blancs Known for
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82% Chardonnay, 9% PN, 9% PM 6 Grand Cru Most sought-after Finesse and delicacy, capable of maturing into creamy intensity of flavor with biscuity, nutty complexity outcrops of chalk, marl, and limestone
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Vallee de Le Marne Known for
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62% PM, 22% PN, 16% Chard 2 Grand Cru easy-drinking and fruity chalk with a greater proportion of sand, marl and clay
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CĂ´te de Sezanne Where What grapes
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SW of CĂ´te de Blancs, separated by marshes of Saint Gond 64% Chard, 21% PM, 15% PN No Grand Cru richer and rounder, more approachable earlier (so good blending components for non-vintage wines) outcrops of chalk, marl, and limestone
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CĂ´tes de bar Where Grapes
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Separate from other four regions No Grand Cru 112KM SE of Epernay, in Aube department 23% of plantings. 87% PN used for negociants blends 7% Chard, 5% PM riper, fruitier pure chalk soil
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Champagne viti Yield Potential alc Altitude and gradients Density
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10.4 tonnes/HA, min 9% 90-300 meters, upto 60% High density planting, upto 8,000 vines per ha
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Four approved champagne pruning methods
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Taille Chablis Cordon de Royat Guyot (single or double) Vallee de la Marne – only Pinot Meunier
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Taille Chablis
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Cane pruning, up to 5 main branches with 5 buds, max 0.6m above ground Retains large amount of perm wood (aids frost resistance) Best for chard
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Cordon de Royat
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Single cordon, spur pruned, vertical shoots High perm wood (aids frost resistance) PN/PM
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Guyot
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Replacement cane, vertical shoots All three grapes, but lesser quality vineyards
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Vallee de la Marne pruning
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Cane pruning, only for Pm in lesser vineyards Retains old wood that helps with frost resistance
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CIVC (Comite Interprofessionel du Vin de Champagne)
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Est 1941 Groups growers, co-ops, shippers, houses under auspices of govt Organizes and controls production, distribution and promotion, plus undertakes research Before 1990 – set prices for grapes Still regulates harvest Financed by levy on production and tax on sales Responsible for defending the use of the word “champagne”
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CIVC on viti
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Sets harvest date Min potential alc Amount of reserve to keep Must hand harvest
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Champagne press Trad Modern
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Trad: Coquard press, vertical basket press holding 4,000kg of grapes (aka Marc) Modern: pneumatic and hydraulic now used (good hygiene), but hard to improve on vertical press Whole bunch only
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Champagne press limits
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25.5hl per 4,000kg or 102L per 160KG called a “marc”
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Champagne, winemaking
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A small but increasing number of producers ferment in oak, but most ferment in stainless steel Fermentation temperature varies from 12 to 25 C. Most winemakers use cultured yeast developed by CIVC Most but not all undergo MLF
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Champagne press Cuvée Taille
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Cuvée: free run and first press to 20.5hl, rich is sugar and acids, great finesse with long aging potential Tailee: final 5hl, richer in color pigments and phenolics, more expressive in youth but not as age worthy
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Style: Blanc de Blanc
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White grapes only, learner and more austere in youth, developing biscuit and hazelnuts with age
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Style: Blanc de Noirs
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White from black, more golden or pinkish hues with red berry, generally ages faster than bdb
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Style: Rose
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achieved by maceration or as a blend of red and white wines
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Style: Recently Disgorged
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Trademarked term by Bollinger, vintage wine with extensive lees aging, disgorge just prior to release Other producers have to use other terms for wines that have undergone extensive ageing
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Prestiege Cuvee
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Not a labelling term, but generally describes the best wine(s) in a producer’s range
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Vintage
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Only made using grapes from the state vintage No more than 80% of production in any year can go to vintage wines (remaining 20% must be stored as reserve wines)
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Maturation and Storage of Champagne
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Non-vintage – min 12 months on lees, 15 months total Vintage – min 12 months on lees, 36 months total (from tirage) Particularly sensitive to light
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Champagne trade structure 3 parts
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15,000 growers who own majority of the land 100+ co-ops playing production role 349 houses responsible for 90% of exports (and 2/3 of all sales)
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Co-ops
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Very important in handling and processing of grapes Sell must, base wine (vin clairs) or finished wine 150 co-ops
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Growers
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Produce own wine either independently or with the help of a co-op Sales of these wines are significant 15,800 of them, and they own 90% of vineyards
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Broking companies
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Buy finished wines and sell under their own brand or wholesale them to retailers or restaurants who are after own label or exclusive brands
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4 main representative bodies of champagne
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CIVC SGVC FCC UMC
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Comite Interprofessional du Vin de Champagne Represents who Monitors what Market
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Created in 1845? Established in 1941? Represents the entire trade, growers to shippers to houses Organizes and controls the production, distribution and promotion of Champagne as well as research Monitors economic, technical, and environmental development of champagne Until 1990 – set the price for grapes Control harvest yields for stable production Harvest dates fixed by grape variety; in general becoming earlier Stabilize internal markets, allow fair share for growers and houses Control volume of harvest for reserve stock (can mandate reserve) Financed by a levy on production and tax on champagne sales
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Syndicat General de Vignerons de la Champagne Represents who Active where Defends and promotes what
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Represents growers Helps define aoc boundaries and production rules Defend grower interests, business support, economic security, and maximize profits, promote grower champagne
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Federation des Cooperatives de la Champagne Represents who Regulate what Secure what
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Created in 1939 Coops Regulate economic balance between growers and houses Secure supply of raw material, promote co op wine, defend in legal matters
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Union des Maisons de Champagne Represents who Member size Goal Top members
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Created 1882 Represents approx 100 houses (200 more not members) Global strategy which protects quality of UMC champagne, promote and protect aoc, viti research LVMH, Vranken-Pommery, Lanson-BBC
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NM
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Negociant Manipulant : champagne house 299; own 10% of vineyards, responsible for 69% of sales; 87% of exports, 1205 brands Buy grapes
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RM
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Recoltant Manipulant : grower produced from own grapes 3208 of these 22% of sales may purchase up to 5% of grapes may sell grapes
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SR
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Societe de Recoltants : 2 or more growers who share same winery to produce from own grapes
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CM
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Cooperative Manipulant : co op winery 67 who make and sell 9% of total sales
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RC
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Recoltant Cooperative : grower sells own grapes that are then produced by co op Seldom encountered
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ND
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Negociant Distributeur : broker who buys and sells finished wine (but doesn’t make it)
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MA
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Marque d’Acheteur : brand owned by retailer or restaurant
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Champ LVMH Size Brands
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Moët Hennessy-Louis Vitton 1,700ha, 59 million bottles Moët & Chandon, Dom Perignon, Mercier, Ruinart, Veuve Cliquot, Krug created and developed Chandon brand Produces in Argentina, Brazil, US, Australia, China, India
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Champ Vranken-Pommery Monopole Size Brands
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254 ha, 20 million bottles, 88% supplied by growers Up 2.5% in earnings in 2014 Vranken, Pommery, Heidsieck & Co Monopole, Charles Lafitte Some property in Portugal Chardonnay dominant with accentuated lactic notes
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Champ Lanson-BLC Size Brands
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19 million bottles, 90% from growers Down 3.7% earnings in 2014 Lanson, Burtin Bessrat de Bellefon, Boizel, Chanoine, Philipponnat, De Venoge, Alexander Bonnet
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Laurent Perrier
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Founded in 1812 Subsidiaries in UK, Switzerland, US, Belgium one of the largest family-owned champagne houses
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Pernod Ricard
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Mumm Perrier-Jouet
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Dom Perignon – person
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Improved wine-making Transformed the Abbey of Hautvillers into region’s leading center of viticultural progress
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Importance of British glassmakers
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Made stronger bottles that could contain the pressure of sparkling wines Worried that decimation of English forests by charcoal burners would jeopardize British shipbuilding, Admiral Mansell convinced James I to issue a royal proclamation banning wood-fired furnaces. Coal was the only viable alternative. Coal burns at a much higher temperature, so the glass was vastly stronger. In an attempt to color glass by adding iron and manganese, the glass became even stronger
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Madame Veuve Clicquot
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Developed system of pupitres to assist in remuage process
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Chaptal
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Scientist and minister who understood that sparkling wines owe their tendency to sparkle only to the fact that they have been enclosed in a bottle before they have completed their fermentation
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Jean-Baptiste Francois
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Pharmacist Enabled winemakers to measure the precise quantity of sugar required to induce second fermentation in the bottle without inducing an explosive force
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Champagne, modern history
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1917 – Russian market collapsed two world wars 1890 – phylloxera Fraud 1911 – first attempts to define region excluded Aube – near civil war with riots 1927 – region strictly defined 1935 – growers and merchants combined as Commission de Chalons; rallied growers and provided stability 1941 – CIVC formed
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Champagne trade
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French market consumes 2/3 Traditional brands less dominant in domestic market 140 co-ops represent more than half growers and 1/3 of area under vine Trade increasingly concentrated with 7 biggest houses accounting for 70% of total
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Moet & Chandon
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Est 1743, Founded by Claude Moet born in 1683 Acquired land, selling off brands Still buys many grapes Over 30 million bottles produced each year In 1960s and 1970s absorbed Mercier and Ruinart (the oldest firm in the region) Later acquired Veuve Clicquot and Krug Today, by far the most dominant group in Champagne Helped free the market so that prices are not controlled Ventures in Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Australia, UK prestige cuvee is Dom Perignon approachable early, picking up toasty aromas quickly though Reductive winemaking, full MLF
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Dom Perignon (the wine)
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1st prestige cuvee 1921 created by Moet — very risky always vintage nearly 50% Chard / 50% PN Always the same vineyards (8GC and 1 PC) Reductive style Age-worthy
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Bollinger
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Rich, oak-aged, Pinot dominant Very old barrels for 6-7 months, deliberately oxidative Variety of styles Vieilles Vignes Francaises Blanc de Noirs – big, chewy, complex; extremely dense plantings of ungrafted vines; ripen early, but cannot be picked until official date, meaning grapes are ultra-ripe; only PN
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Charles Heidsieck
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master blender, using up to 40% reserve wines Reserve wines over 8 different vintages toasty, rich, evolved style
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Krug
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LVMH most expensive, least consumed “multi-vintage” instead of NV elitist family run for 6 generations (no longer) all pressings vinified separately, fermented in small old oak no MLF long aging on lees
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Laurent-Perrier
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Founded 1812 Fame after WWII Gradually expanded Geneally fresh and elegant, Chard heavy from Cote des Blancs Grand Siecle – multi-vintage (3 years) prestige cuvee, blend of GC Chard (>50%) and PN (<50%), but roughly 50/50.; usually min 7 years yeast contact, manual disgorgement
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Mumm
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Founded 1827 Grand marque Confiscated during WWI (German-run, he had not applied for naturalization) Changed hands lots of times, now Pernod Ricard Cordon Rouge – fresh, light, floral, easy-going, rather simple
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Perrier-Jouet
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Est 1811 Belle Epoque – consistent, quality, vintage Some B.E. Rose and some B.E. Blanc de Blancs
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Philipponnat
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partiallly oak fermented low dose may or may not go through MLF purchased by Bruno Paillard (union battle) pinot heavy CLos des Goisses – Single Vineyard
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Pol Roger
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family run double cold-settling for cleaner must very cold cellars – colder 2nd ferment and maturation hand riddling Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill – prestige cuvee; few bottles, secret recipe
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Louis Roederer
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1876 created Cristal (sweet) and it conquered Russian market known for fine, creamy mousse Cristal tanked with Russian Revolution 1917 Revived later as prestige cuvee flat bottom partial ferment in large old oak High dose Needs to age in bottle to develop
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Ruinart
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oldest sparkling champagne house est 1729 Chard dominant LVMH
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Taittinger
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also owns Dom Carneros aims for elegance and purity of fruit Comtes de Champagne – prestige cuvee Blanc de Blancs almost pure GC and almost pure Cote des Blancs MLF tiny portion in new oak
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Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin
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LVMH Clicquot widow ran from 1805 grande marque ample dosage best when laid down for 3 years La Grande Dame – prestige cuvee
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2014 Champagne Shipments Bottle count among tiers
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307 million btls, up 1% Houses: 215 million, 70% Growers: 63 million, 20% Co ops: 29 million, 9%
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2014 Champagne Markets
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France: 162 million bottles, 53% UK: 32 million US: 19 million GER: 12 million Japan: 10 million Belgium: 9 million